Periodic Newsletter of the Quaker Peace Centre
Vol. 4, no. 1
We have begun to implement our strategic plan for the next 12 months – reducing violence and sowing the seeds for peace at schools. Just as we started to roll out our strategic plan, we were surprised by the attacks on foreigners in major metropolitan areas across our country. Community organisations quickly came together to calm the situation and offer support to the victims. Political voices say that this may never happen again.
We draw hope from the young people we work with. They see good virtues in foreigners and feel that we can learn from their determination in making a living and being successful. This they say even when they themselves come from impoverished communities that are riddled with violence. This shows that our work bears fruit and that people can hope for a better future in places where you would not expect this.
One young woman from
brought it to the point at our Positive Discipline School Indaba: The colours in the rainbow are not separate but merge with one another. We are a rainbow nation and therefore we must be connected, not separated. Our national anthem ‘Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika’ (God Bless Africa) blesses all of Africa and not only Maitland High School . South Africa
We thank you for your continuing support which helps to make our work a reality.
Young woman from Maitland High School quoted above.
Please read news about our projects below.
This project continues to strive for non-violent schools in our country!
We delivered lectures to teachers in training at Cape Peninsula University of Technology and have been voted the most useful course in our module for 3 consecutive years! We are part of the working group advocating and lobbying for the removal, from the Children’s Act, of corporal punishment as reasonable chastisement by parents.
We were invited by the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) in the central district to partner them and run a 3 day non-violent schools camp for learners and teachers in July 2008. On Friday, July 18, we went to Glencairn with 60 learners from 11 schools in
and 30 of their teachers. This was a ground breaking event - the first organised event from the WCED to address violence in schools. Cape Town
We developed non-violent curriculum material for dissemination to schools countrywide. Learners made posters about various forms of violence to raise awareness, teachers and learners wrote articles advocating non-violence for publication, teachers participated in positive discipline workshops, and learners performed drama scenes illustrating incidents of violence. These scenes were followed by panel discussions by learners, offering advice and alternatives to violent behaviour, to young people. The drama scenes and discussion were filmed for use in classrooms. Many ideas for non-violent activism were shared and delegates returned to their schools to begin non-violence campaigns. It was a great success and another camp on non-violence at schools is being planned.
An indaba on non-violent schools was held at
in July. Participation and enthusiasm ran high as learners and teachers expressed their feelings and ideas. Geraldine Goldblatt, curriculum advisor WCED Central, engaged participants in an interactive session about the link between curriculum content and the reduction of violence in schools. Learners from Heideveld talked about the benefits to their reading from their participation in the Argus Quiz, and a sports’ panel, including the sports’ advisor, Allan Beukes, from the WCED discussed the benefits of sport to non-violent schools. The choir from Heideveld High School entertained us. Thandokhulu High School
Mackie Kleinschmidt, Curriculum Manager from the WCED Central advised teachers and learners about their roles in building a non-violent school and the support that will be offered by the WCED to the schools in this process. The Heideveld Peace Club informed us about their activities. The arts were highlighted as a crucial ingredient of a non-violent school as they provide learners with the skills to express themselves in appropriate and healthy ways. We were all entertained by the excellent jazz band from
. Rhodes High School
The indaba involved learners at the level of finding solutions rather than being seen as the problem, as is the case in most schools.
Learners at the indaba.
Young Women's Forum
This project focuses on raising awareness of issues affecting young women and how best to use the rights they have, as they generally do not have opportunities for their joint voice to be heard.
The forum members are the learners from Simunye and Masibambisane high schools in
. We have conducted 6 forum meetings so far. There were lots of issues that came out of these forum meetings. One of them was the issue of teenage pregnancy and alcohol abuse. Since this was a concern to the members, they decided to have a march against teenage pregnancy and under age alcohol abuse in Delft . The march was held on Youth Day, June 16 in Delft . The march was followed by a speech by Zimbini Genu. This young woman decided to give a message to other youth. Delft
The forum members have taken up a big role in the community and also in their schools. They have started to attend community meetings and are taking part in activities in
We are now training the young women in Alternatives to Violence Project up to facilitator level. This will equipped them with excellent facilitation skills. We will continue to conduct forum meetings and all the information will be documented and sent to the Human Rights Commission and South African Women in Dialogue by the end of the year.
Youth at Risk
For the past six months we have been running the Youth at Risk Project at
. The main purpose for this intervention of this project is to help youth deal with behavioural challenges in constructive ways in order to build and promote their self-esteem and have a vision for their future. These learners come from challenging backgrounds that influence their behaviour which leads to internal and external problems. In class they are disruptive and often fight with fellow learners when they are frustrated with school work. Outside of school some of them engage in “dangerous” activities that leaves not much hope for their future. Delft South Primary School
The learners made their own kites and we spent a day flying them. Kite flying is known as a freeing, healthy outdoor activity.
We designed a programme which not only helped keep our youth in the
community off the street and in school but also helped to produce a positive attitude toward life. We provided an after school extramural activity programme which is aligned with the school curriculum, which enhanced learning and development. We engaged in arts and crafts and the specialized sports after school programmes which we run concurrently with the school curriculum. For the arts and crafts sessions we let each learner make a personal collage and describe to the group what the collage is about; we also made low cost instruments and used them to play indigenous games. We also had in depth life skills workshops where learners were challenged to change their attitudes which would change their lives. At the end of the first six months we met at the centre and treated the learners to some rewarding refreshments. The learners who have been part of this programme have expressed sincere and remarkable attitudes of change in their behaviour, making it clear that they want to change. Next, learners will be working on their models of cars, houses, schools, boats or whatever interests them. The aim is to awaken their hidden talents and steer their abilities in the right direction. Delft
Since the beginning of 2008 we have concentrated on producing media based on our experience of running diversity courses, mainly with primary school teachers in
, and also with adolescents. We have learned so much from piloting the workshops in two schools that can now be drawn on to create a variety of materials which can be used for training teachers-in-training. The process of using raw experience to create interesting teaching materials is a challenging and rewarding one – akin to spinning straw into gold, as in the fairy story. Thus far, plans for producing a diversity manual, a radio drama and documentary are underway. Delft
The radio drama has been written and recorded at Bush Radio, which will also broadcast the play. It is a story about a black boy and a coloured girl who live in “temporary” housing in
, and the relationship that develops between them, in the face of the struggle for scarce resources, like housing, which divides communities there. The story’s job is to imaginatively project that the kind of racism which has coloured and black communities in Delft in its grip, can be overcome. We find that it’s easier to get through to people via a story, because they can emotionally identify with characters and thus bypass their customary defences, when dealing with difficult issues like racial prejudice. Delft
After the play there will be a phone-in for members of the public to express themselves, which will be hosted by a QPC panel. The production will then be jointly owned by QPC and Bush Radio as partners, which means that Bush will be enabled to copy it for other community radio stations to use, while QPC will use it as part of its diversity training materials. This is a new and exciting path for us, which we hope will enable us to reach a greater number of people.
You may use your credit card to give to the work of the Quaker Peace Centre. Go to www.cafonline.org and type Cape Town Quaker into the search field 'Keyword(s) or phrase' under 'Find a charity and donate' which will bring you to the Cape Town Quaker Peace Centre Committee.
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